Dome: GOP candidate says fundraising tied to committee assignments

FROM STAFF REPORTSSeptember 26, 2012 

A Republican candidate for the N.C. House told a crowd that how much money she funnels to House Speaker Thom Tillis and the GOP caucus will determine which committee assignments she receives if elected.

“Unfortunately, the more money you raise and give to the speaker, the better committee assignment you get,” candidate Debra Conrad told a group in Winston-Salem. “I don’t like that situation.”

Yes! Weekly first reported the remarks. Tillis’ office denied the fundraising-to-committee-assignment connection. But Conrad told reporter Jordan Green that she and fellow GOP candidates are feeling the pressure.

Green reported: “Conrad said she probably wouldn’t have raised the matter except that she and fellow N.C. House candidate Donny Lambeth had just been commiserating over the pressure they were feeling from their party.

“He doesn’t even have an opponent and he’s having a fundraiser,” Conrad said. “That’s why they’re putting pressure on him: because he doesn’t have an opponent, and he can just turn the money over to the general pool.”

Holding the Senate

Republican political pundit John Davis issued a report earlier this week predicting Republicans will retain control of the N.C. Senate.

The prediction is not surprising – even some Democrats concede the Senate is a lost cause after GOP-led redistricting. Republicans control the body now 31 to 19, and Davis’ scorecard forecasts nearly the same party breakdown (31R to 18D). The only tossup race is Senate District 50, featuring a rematch between Republican incumbent Jim Davis and former incumbent Democrat John Snow.

Here’s John Davis’ spin: “In 2012, Republicans will win the Senate majority because they have seized the decided advantage jealously guarded by Democrats since the 19th century. First, the state GOP is united behind savvy political warfare leaders at a time when the Democratic Party is divided by scandal and weak leadership. Second, Republicans have the favorable district maps and fundraising advantages historically reserved for Democrats.”

Chamber backs McIntyre

Rep. Mike McIntyre has won the backing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business federation with more than 3 million members.

The Democratic candidate for Congress from N.C. District 7 got the federation’s support because of his “consistent pro-business record.”

“At no other time in our nation’s history has it been more critical that members of Congress provide leadership that protects and advances the interests of the business community,” said Thomas J. Donahue, the group’s president and CEO, in an endorsement letter.

McIntyre has represented the district since 1997. His opponent in the race is Republican state Sen. David Rouzer.

Who’s fundraising?

N.C. Democrats hold their annual western fundraiser Oct. 6 – exactly one month to the election in one of the most important electoral states in the nation.

But so far, the biggest Democratic name on the program is R.T. Rybak. Who? He’s the mayor of Minneapolis and vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

The program for the 52nd Western Gala – previously known as the Vance-Aycock – could still change. The other special guests for the event at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville are Gov. Bev Perdue and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton. Tickets cost $100, with top donors giving $5,000 or more.

Staff writers John Frank and Austin Baird

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